The Cliffs at High Carolina Dam

S&ME provided complete assessment and remediation design services for the upgrade of the 42-foot tall earthen embankment dam.  The 6-acre lake provides a central water feature for the proposed, championship, 18-hole golf course.  The improvement will provide vehicular and pedestrian access across the dam as one of the core areas of the development.

Condition assessment services included geotechnical explorations by mechanical boring and hand auger methods; visual embankment inspections; and remote operated video inspection of the existing spillway conduit.  S&ME identified key parameters for improving the stability and safety of the dam including earthen embankment stability and existing spillway conduit condition.  As a result, much of the existing dam will be incorporated into the rehabilitation with minimal disturbance.

S&ME also performed hydrologic analysis of the watershed contributing runoff to the lake.  We accounted for future development conditions and incorporated new techniques for estimating rainfall runoff distribution.  We optimized new spillway capacity by incorporating the existing emergency spillway with a new principal spillway that could adequately pass the storm water flow from the new development.  S&ME modeled the potential flooding of the downstream channel resulting from a simulated breach of the dam to identify hazardous areas.  These areas are incorporated into the Emergency Action Plan for the dam.


  • Geotechnical design for dam improvements